Our History: From small beginnings, Aspiring Medical Centre was established by Dr Susie Meyer in 1995, initially as a sole practice. She started in a sleep-out behind Aspiring Dental Clinic sharing the dental reception staff. Her first practice nurse Susie Rich had a small room inside. On the first day there were 8 patients. For nearly a year Susie was on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week for her patients.
In 1996 she was joined by Dr Lucy O’Hagan, who consulted in a refurbished garage alongside the dental rooms. Setting up a new practice was a great opportunity to think about what is important and set up a healthy culture within the organisation. Female doctors were a new thing in Wanaka. Curious customers asked questions like “does your doctor write prescriptions?”…. “does your doctor stitch people up?” Anything can be done by 2 women in a sleep-out and a garage, we reassured them!
In 1998 we moved to the premises in Dungarvon Street, added an x-ray service with the help of radiographer Annie Campbell and got our first Practice Manager – Noeline Hamilton. We also took on a male doctor, Simon Brebner. He was also very good at writing prescriptions and stitching people up! In 2005 we were fortunate to recruit Dr Jayne Davies from the UK who bought into the practice as a partner.
Since 1995 Wanaka has been in a boom and we have had to deal with constant growth, adding new rooms and increasing staffing.
In 2004 we took on Lynda Davis as Clinical and Nursing Manager. Lynda has been instrumental in setting up clinical protocols and preparing us for Cornerstone accreditation. This is a quality programme through the NZ College of GPs and we were the first practice in Central Otago to gain accreditation in 2008.
Sally Battson leads our management team with efficiency and integrity. We are fortunate to have incredibly able and kind reception staff led by Annelies.
Of course we couldn’t do it without our wonderful nursing staff who work tirelessly to make sure nothing falls through the gaps. They have all trained into specialist roles.
In 2005 our nurses Jackie Davidson and Sue Evans trained in contraception and sexual health. They now work independently alongside Jayne Davies at the Wanaka Sexual Health Clinic.
We have been keen participants in the Wanakafest annual parade commencing with Plaster Paradise, then 2 memorable floats “Polly has a dolly that is sick….” And a year later a “MASH” theme. We have an annual charity fund to donate to events or organisations that contribute to community well-being.
Aspiring Medical Centre has been hosting GP registrars and rural house surgeons for over 10 years.
Our trainees are fully qualified doctors with hospital experience. They see patients, usually with longer appointment times, under supervision from the senior doctors. We are enthusiastic teachers and we love the stimulation and ideas that trainees offer the practice. We are an accredited teaching practice with RNZCGP.
On 20 June 2011 we moved into the new Wanaka Lakes Health Centre building on Cardrona Road. We can now offer you on site pharmacy, x-rays, physiotherapy, optometrist, audiology, chiropractor, podiatrist, visiting specialists, dietitians, counselling, massage therapy … and an espresso coffee bar! It’s a long way from the days in the sleep out behind the dentist!